A man who the GSP says eluded a trooper after a chase that hit 134 mph Tuesday was arrested after a Carrollton policeman remembered the suspect once challenged the officer to a race.
The 40-year-old suspect was later identified and located at his home in Carrollton Tuesday evening, according to a state Department of Public Safety incident report.
Authorities said Joseph Williamson confessed when confronted at home and was arrested for charges of fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, reckless driving, failure to stop at a stop sign, speeding in excess of maximum limits, failure to obey traffic control device, and improper tag display.
The incident began about 2:50 p.m. Tuesday when a GSP trooper patrolling Highway 166 spotted a motorcycle with an obscured tag. The driver was then seen quickly accelerating and weaving through traffic, headed toward the Highway 166 and Bankhead Highway intersection, the report stated.
The trooper switched on his emergency lights and sirens in an attempt to pull the motorcycle over. But the driver accelerated the motorcycle to 134 mph and the pursuit began, according to the officer.
The officer followed the motorcyclist across the Highway 166 and Bankhead Highway intersection toward downtown Carrollton. The driver turned left on Thurman Street and allegedly zigzagged through multiple streets before returning to Highway 166 at the intersection near the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, according to the report.
The trooper said the suspect turned on Hays Mill Road and the officer lost sight of the motorcyclist before the intersection with Oak Grove Road. The motorcyclist had traveled approximately 10 miles before the officer lost sight and ended the pursuit.
During the pursuit, the motorcyclist failed to obey traffic control devices, failed to stop at stop signs, improperly passed vehicles, failed to signal, failed to maintain the lane, drove recklessly, passed in no-passing zones, traveled too fast for conditions and drove in a roadway gore, according to the report.
Later that evening, the trooper was shown a picture of a similar blue motorcycle that had been taken by a Carrollton policeman at the AutoZone parking lot in Carrollton on July 1. The officer who took the photo said he did so after Williamson, the motorcycle’s owner, asked the on-duty policeman to race.
Both officers compared the photograph with another image, captured by a FLOCK camera during the pursuit. They determined the motorcycle was the same model and had similar details, according to the report.
The officers traveled to Williamson’s home in search of the motorcycle, which they said was parked in the driveway. Officers questioned Williamson at his home, and they said he confessed to leading officers on a high-speed chase earlier that day.
Williamson was placed under arrested and transported to jail. As of Thursday afternoon, his bond was set at $6,000 and he was still in custody of the Carroll County Jail.